Tuesday, August 2, 2022

How to Save on Back to School Shopping


How to Save Money on Back to School Shopping

Going back to school can be very expensive for students and teachers. On average, families spend $696.70 on back to shopping for their elementary, middle, and high school students. The amount is a lot higher for those going to college. 

 I am a licensed teacher. I realized that back to school shopping is more expensive.

Teachers spend on average $500 on school supplies. Some teachers spend over $1,000 on back to school supplies. That may increase. Thanks to the pandemic and inflation. 

Depending on how schools reopen, you may spend less or more. Some school systems are doing a hybrid. This may mean parents will have to have supplies at home and at school. 

However, your kids are going back to school, there are ways to save some money this year. 

I have included tips on how to save money when shopping back to school. I also added some top school supplies on students list this year. 

This post contains affiliate links which I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You help a soon to be a teacher (me)! earn some money to supply my classroom and to move. Thank you for your support and for choosing to read my post!

Tips to Save on Back to School Shopping
Tips on Saving Money on Back to School Shopping

1. Make a budget

Know how much you want to spend. Before shopping, figure out how much you want to spend. Check your child's school list first. 

This will help you figure out how much you need to spend. Create a budget that will not overwhelm you. Try to stick with it or find other ways to get school supplies. 

2.  Shop at home

Believe it or not, you may have the supplies you or your kids may need at home. If you are like me, you may have a bin or drawer filled with supplies already. Look and see what you already have and make off the list of items you need to buy. 

You may save a lot of money just by using what you already have at home. Look in your office drawers to see if you have any material you can use. 

I can say the same about clothing. Check to see what you already have in your closet and drawers. That way you don't end up buying the same article of clothing repeatedly. 

3. Shop at your friends 

If you are a parent, student, or teacher that needs furniture, ask you, friends. You may find that computer desk you wanted or that bookshelf. You do the same thing with school supplies and clothing. 

I know a fellow new teacher is taking this approach. Her fellow teachers are giving her classroom supplies. She does not have to spend extra money buying new things. 

If you don't mind wearing or using gently used items, this can work. You will save a lot of money by shopping there. 

4. Check prices before going out 

Before going shopping price compare. This will help you find out how much you may need to spend. It will also help you find the best deals! 

5. Shop at Dollar Stores, Warehouse Stores, and Office Supplies 

Dollar stores have a lot to offer for you back to school needs. To save money, you can buy cleaning products, facial tissues, and school supplies. Teachers can even find school decorations at some stores. 

I found a lot of deals at my local dollar store and Burke's Outlet. I found a LeSportsac bag for $21.99. So you can save a lot of money shopping at these stores. 

Office Supply stores cost more money, but they offer some discounts. Office Supply stores like OfficeMax have reward programs that allow you to save money. 

P.S. Teachers, you may use your teacher id to score discounts at some stores. Dollar General is offering 20% off stationery items if you have a valid id. 

Educators used in public schools can apply for a tax-free exemption on classroom purchases made at Home Depot when they have a Federal Government Purchase Card (source). 

Check out other stores like Office Depot, Jo-Ann, A.C. Moore, Meijer, and Barnes and Noble. 

A.C. Moore: Teachers can get a 15% discount at A.C. Moore when they bring their valid educator ID, payment stub, government ID, or teacher’s certificate. Exclusions apply (source).

JOANN Fabric: JOANN Fabric offers a 15% in-store and online discount to educators when they sign up for the JOANN Teacher Rewards Program. It requires a valid ID (source).

Michaels: Michaels offers a 15% discount to U.S. teachers when they sign up for Michaels Rewards and verify using their educator ID. Available for online and in-store purchases (source).

6. Buy Generic 

There is nothing wrong with buying generic items. I saved a lot of money by buying generic folders, binders, and notebooks. 

There are some cute, generic, and colorful school supplies. They may not have their favorite cartoon characters, but they will look good. I can say the same about lunch bags and tissues. 

7. Don't forget your coupons

Bring those coupons you received in your newspaper when you go shopping. Don't forget about the coupons you can print online and the ones you can use on your phone. You can also use you're the newsletters you receive in your mail to save money. 

8. Shop Online 

Shopping online allows you to use coupon codes and cashback rebates. Check out Ibotta, Ebates, and Retail Me Not because you can receive cashback from your online purchases. 

 Some stores allow offer free online shopping and allow you to pick up at the store. That way you can save money and time when you shop. 


To save money, you should always have a budget. You don't have to spend all at once because you may find better deals on some items later this year. 

I did a post about school supplies and showcase some items that are out there for this year.  School supplies are a lot more fashionable. I believe if you have supplies you love you may feel more inclined to go back to school! 

For those reading this that are not a student, some of these items would be great for your office too! 

Items under $25 

3.6-Cup Caddy - up & up™ • $4 ( I brought these to store various supplies in) 

Shop School Supplies 

More Articles to Read:

Want more tips on Back to school savings, read this post!  

Work Looks perfect for teachers and interns. 

Hate Mondays?! Check out this post!

Look at My Current Faves Page to see more back to school supplies! 

P.S. Barnes & Noble: Full-time teachers and school faculty members can get 20% off select purchases for educational purposes at Barnes & Noble, and 25% off during Educator Appreciation Days. Enroll online or visit your nearest B&N store (source).

For updated info on CDC school guidelines, check out this page.

Before You Leave, Don't Forget to Share 

Sales on Back to School Shopping

Check out my current faves page to see more back to school supplies.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Get The Ultimate Summer Bucket List Now: 30 Affordable Activities to Do This Summer

When the end of June comes you think what you should add to your summer bucket list. You reminisce about the fun activities you did when you were young. Then you make a list of new things you want to try. But you realize you don’t have that much time to complete everything you want before September or October comes.

That is why I came up with 30 summer goals you can do. These ideas are affordable and allow you to enjoy the season. I included indoor and outdoor ideas. So when people ask you how your summer was you can say it was amazing!

Summer Bucket List: Outdoor Activities 

1. Go to a Baseball Game 

Go support your local high school baseball or even little league baseball games. They will be glad for the support and you can make a nice family outing out. 

2. Go to a drive-through or outdoor  movie 

Some places do have outdoor movie theaters. Check and see if there is any local ones near you. 

3. Watch Fireworks 

Around the Fourth of July, there will be a lot of free firework displays you can see. But most summer events start the evening off with fireworks. Check out your local newspaper or town website to see what events are being held in your hometown. 

4. Go for a swim

Rather you swim in a kiddie pool, indoor pool, or the ocean you can enjoy a nice cool swim.

5. Go to a music festival 

6. Go on a road trip

Take your best friend and go all Thelma and Louise style.  With your sunglasses and the top down in your convertible. Or at least roll down your windows if you don’t own a convertible! LOL If you don’t want to travel very far, you can go to a local spot you have not been.

7. Camp out 

You can go to a campsite or you can camp out in your own backyard. 

8. Make s' mores 

Nothing seems more like summer than making a bonfire and roasting s' mores. Make gourmet version by adding your favorite fruit and cookies together.  

9. Have a water balloon fight 

10. Go Fishing 

Even though you may not be an expert fisherman but you  can try! It may surprise you what you may catch!

11. Attend a local Farmers Market 

I know going to the farmer’s market does not sound spectacular but it can be useful. You can find the freshest produce and goods to cook healthy meals. A bonus is you are supporting local farmers and vendors.

12. Attend a Yard Sale or Estate Sale 

In the summer a lot of yard sales are held by churches or local organizations. This is a good time to support local charities. 

13. Go to the Beach 

14. Host a Cookout or Barbeque 

If you have a grill you can cook some of your favorite foods. You can invite  you friends over.  You can ask them to bring a dish, drink, or snack if they want too. For those who don’t have a grill, you can borrow or rent one

15. Catch Fireflies 

During summer fireflies (or lightning bugs) come outside at night. Fireflies are bugs that light up during the evening to attract mates or prey. If you live in the Eastern part of the US or visiting you can see them. You can observe the fireflies flying or try to catch some of them. Of course, you let them go but it is fun to observe them. 

Summer Bucket List: Indoor Activities 

1. Make Ice cream sandwiches and an ice cream party

When I was younger, I and my sister would make ice cream sandwiches. We would use some of our favorite store brought cookies like Keebler Fudge Shoppe Cookies. 

 We would place our favorite store brought ice cream on one cookie and then place another cookie on top. If you want to make your own ice cream sandwich  cookies from scratch here are a few websites with excellent recipes.

 27 Homemade Icecream Sandwich  via Country Living 

Ice Cream Sandwiches Recipe  via NY Times 

2. Have a Staycation 

If you don’t enjoy traveling, you can do a staycation. You take a nap or spend a few hours by yourself. Once you rest you can spend time with your family doing any of these indoor or outdoor activities. 

3. Have a tea party 

4. See a new movie at your local theater 

Summer is the time to watch blockbuster movies. New York Times has a great list of movies for the summer. My top favorite is Lion King and Toy Story 4. 

5. Go to the museum 

Museum during the summer sometimes offers free or discounted events. 

6. Go to a library 

Your local library is not just a source of information but also a place where you can get free movies and books. Check out your local library to see what new movies or books they may for the summer. Also, ask your local librarian what events are happening in the summer.  Libraries usually have a summer reading program for children and even have events for the whole family. 

7. Make popsicles

The temperatures are going up which means you crave certain treats. One of those treats is Make some healthy versions by pouring some delicious fruit, yogurt, and honey. Put the mixtures in popsicle molds and add wooden sticks. Then freeze for six hours. Then you can enjoy your nice treat! 

8. Watch a Summer Movie Marathon

Get your favorite Block Buster Movies or watch a few classic summer movies. Here are some the movies you can start with: 

"The Sandlot" 

"West Side Story"

"It Takes Two"

"A Goofy Movie" 



"The Babysitters Club Movie"

"Independence Day" 

"National Lampoon's Vacation"

"The Parent Trap (either version)"

"My Girl"

"Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's is Dead" 

"Rear Window" 

"Now and Then" 

"Weekend at Bernie's" 

"I Know What You Did Last Summer" 

"Fried Green Tomatoes"

"Field of Dreams"




"Troop Beverly Hills" 

9. Host a Potluck Dinner  

Now is the time to host a potluck dinner. Invite your foodie friends and ask them to bring their favorite dish! Decorate your home with a nice floral centerpiece. If you don’t have a green thumb added faux florals instead. If florals aren’t your thing, add some twinkle lights or candles. Make a playlist of your favorite music. Then make some wonderful drinks, food, and then enjoy!

10. Read a new book 

Need a book to read on the beach? Read a new book, it can be a genre you never read, a classic novel, or a recently released book. You may find a new favorite book!

11. Go to a thrift store 

You can find some great items at your local thrift or consignment shop. Not only can you find fashion but books, dishes, knick-knacks, and other goods. You be surprised at what you may find when you go there. 

12. Host a game night 

Bring out your favorite games or buy your favorite games! Don’t forget to ask your guest to bring their favorite games. Make it but some of your favorite snacks and drinks for your friends or family to enjoy! 

13. Have a Book Club 

To host a book club find out who you want to invite. Then figure out what the purpose of the club would be. Discuss with those in the club on where you want to meet and what books you should nominate. Then define how what format you want the club to have. 

For more ideas on how to start a book club, read this article by Penguin Random House. 

14. Finish A DIY Project 

Use a few of your weekends to complete those DIY Projects you never finished. 

15. Have a Detox from Technology 

Spend a day at home without using any of your technology. Spend time with friends or family. You can also use this time to spend time alone just relaxing or even learning a new thing. Whatever you do take time to enjoy your life and does around you. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Discount School Supply Clearance Finds

                                             Clearance Items on Sale  at Discount School Supply 

As a teacher I have been enjoying my break. The last few years of teaching was rough. From the pandemic to teacher shortages, things have been stressful. That is why I am glad to finally have a break. 

Most teachers now however that our summer off is still work. We work to get our classes moved or packed up. Some of us paint our rooms. Others are rearranging furniture to get it just right.

You may also working on lesson plans. You could be doing webinars. Others like my self are working on getting supplies. 

One of those places I like to get my supplies is Discount School Supply. I used them for a few years. Most of my items in my class came from this place. So this year I am shopping there again.

 I am sharing with you, the supplies I want in my class. Most of these items are items that I have used before and know they work. Others are similar to the things I used in the past.

The items I picked are items I know my students would use almost everyday. Supplies that they love to use. Teachers love who students are engaged. 

This post has affiliate links from Discount School Supply. I will get a small commission if you purchase any of these items. Thank you for your support! 


My former students loved stampers and they love animals. So when I saw that this was on sale it had to be on my list for this year. I think this would be a perfect thing to use in the beginning of the year. Students also love doing lessons about skeletons in October. 

Colorations Animal Skeleton Stampers

Colorations Animal Skeleton Stampers. Learn about nature while having fun! GIFT FOR K... [More]

Price: $23.50
Sale: $15.51

I another excellent fall items you can use. You can also use these stencils with you do a tree or pumpkin lesson.

Colorations Fall and Thanksgiving Stencils...

We make it easy for kids to create original seasonal art using stencils! WHAT YOU GET... [More]

Price: $13.98
Sale: $9.23


My former students love stampers. They love using the stampers I got last year. I decided to buy more since this year. This was what I kept in my literacy or sometimes writing center. 

Colorations Stamper-Perfect Washable Stamp...

3-3/4 inch Sq. stamp pads are filled with super washable ink. Perfect for kids' stampin... [More]

Price: $49.99


Paper straws are great for arts and crafts. You can also use them when you do a STEAM activity for 3 Little Pigs or make Truffula Trees for Dr. Suess.

Colorations Paper Art Straws Set of 100

Paper straws are so versatile! Cut these colorful art straws into pieces for simple sor... [More]

Price: $8.21


These are great for when you are having a lesson about weather or water. 

Colorations Jumbo Easy Grip Weather Stampers

Perfect for group activities! Versatile easy grip weather stampers accommodates large s... [More]

Price: $28.26
Sale: $12.50



I used the Colorations markers more than once in my class. I usually put out dot markers in the beginning of the year. This way I can get some of my younger students to build on their fine motor skills. Great for art work but also math and literacy. 

Colorations Tropical Chubbie Markers - Set...

Washable, vibrant-colored markers with chubby handles are easy to grip for even the you... [More]

Price: $46.72
Sale: $21.99


These Dot brushes came in handy for the Garden Study. Students used these brushes to make various flowers. You could also use them if you doing a study on clothing or for an insect study. The students loved making their own buttons and insects. 

Colorations "Paint-A-Dot" Brushes - Set of 12

Colorations "Paint-A-Dot" Brushes are made with a durable wooden handle and sponge tip.... [More]

Price: $13.30
Sale: $8.86


If you have not notice I have a lot of art items on this list. My students love art. Their favorite thing to do is paint. Tempara paint is a favorite for art projects. Especially group art projects. 

Colorations Simply Washable Tempera Paint ...

Vibrant, bold tempera in a set of 11 colors is ideal for arts and crafts and is the ide... [More]

Price: $41.12

These mats come in handy for arts and crafts. Or when we use Play-Doh. 

Colorations Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats...

Create big, beautiful art projects anywhere! Our sturdy plastic mats protect work surfa... [More]

Price: $19.75

These are always a hit in writing center. Students loves the stampers and see if they can make words. Get the upper case stampers so students can make their names. 

Colorations Good Grasp Stamping Sticks - L...

Colorations Good Grasp Stamping Sticks are specifically designed to rest comfortably in... [More]

Price: $54.10
Sale: $39.99


Great storage for my writing center. The students love writing on dry erase sleeves with markers. I need a place to keep this supplies in. 

Dry Erase Sleeves And Supplies Storage by ...

Store All Your Dry Erase Sleeves And Markers In One Handy Place With this attractive, ... [More]

Price: $36.49
Sale: $29.19


In the beginning of the year, I have students do about me projects. Projects that allow students to express themselves. One way of doing this is allowing them to do art projects that represent them. These Craft Stick Faces will allow them to make faces that look just like them. It is also a great way to assess students to see if know the parts of their face or can describe themselves. 

Craft Stick Faces - Set of 20 by Colorations

Come face-to-face with a truly inviting, self-esteem-building project. Paint or decorat... [More]

Price: $19.42
Sale: $17.99


My students love cozy spaces. Cozy spaces are places where students can get alone by themselves. This would be a cute way for students to have their own space. 

'Space'ship Flexible Work Space by Really ...

Give your child or students a safe space to sit in their classroom, or even at home. Ea... [More]

Price: $29.99
Sale: $12.99

There are tons of other items on Discount School Supplies site that are on clearance. It was really hard to choose just a few items. But I think I found things that I know students would love to have. 

What is your favorite thing from the site? 

Over 100 New Arts & Crafts Price Drops Added! Stock up and save for summer camps or next year! Shop Now At Discount School Supply!